Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a research-based philosophy of working with individuals of different abilities, not just individuals with ASD. ABA encompasses a range of strategies and methods based on standard behavioral principles designed to address reduction of behaviors by encouraging positive or desired behaviors and discouraging negative or unwanted behaviors in order to improve a variety of skills. Behaviors are considered to be a form of communication that can be addressed by teaching appropriate skills to support the reduction of undesired behaviors across settings. Examples of ABA methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Discrete Trial Training: Teaching an individual one particular skill through repeated trials
  • Incidental Teaching: Creating a learning environment based on an individual’s interests or motivations
  • Pivotal Response Training: Focusing on positive changes in key behaviors to positively affect other behaviors
  • Social Stories™: Using words and/or pictures to describe what to do in various situations that may challenge or provoke anxiety within an individual (developed by Carol Gray)

Additional Information:

Autism Speaks: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB): About Behavior Analysis

HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training & Resource Center: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). What is it?